PALEO BUFFALO CHICKEN LETTUCE WRAPS

Here it is, recipe numero dos. Just in time for you to make this evening for dinner. It’s quick and easy, won’t take more than 20 minutes total.  But, I made a mistake when making this.  When I was at the store they were out of butter lettuce so I thought ‘No big deal, I have some lettuce at home I will use’.  Don’t do that. It was not the same. Use the butter lettuce, not a substitute.

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 BUFFALO CHICKEN LETTUCE WRAPS

½ lb chicken thighs

2 tsp chipotle powder

½ tsp garlic powder

½ tsp onion powder

2 tablespoon coconut oil

1 head of butter lettuce

1 avocado

½ cup cherry tomatoes

2 tablespoons chopped green onions

1. Slice the chicken thighs into small strips.

2. Rub the chipotle, onion and garlic powder on the strips, spreading evenly.

3.  Heat the coconut oil in a skillet on medium heat. Add the chicken and cook until done (about 10 minutes or less)

4. While chicken is cooking slice up the avocado/cherry tomatoes.

5. Pile on top of some pieces of butter lettuce, wrap up and enjoy!

Paleo Lemon Blueberry Protein Cake

As promised in my previous post, here is the first recipe.

I originally made this breakfast dish because my boyfriend was having trouble switching from sweetened cereals/granola/protein bars to Paleofied breakfast foods. He wanted something that would be sweet, filling, protein packed and could be made ahead of time as he has to be out the door by 5:30 every morning. I adapted a muffin recipe by Diane Sanfillipo and came up with this delicious breakfast “cake” that is now a weekly staple.

Paleo Lemon Blueberry Protein Cake

Paleo Lemon Blueberry Protein Cake

Paleo Lemon Blueberry Protein Cake

1 cup Almond Flour

12 eggs

1/2 cup maple syrup

2 lemons, both the juice and the zest

1/2 cup coconut oil

2 tsps vanilla extract

2 cups blueberries (I used frozen as they are cheaper)

1/2 tsp baking soda

pinch of salt

1. Mix the eggs in a large mixing bowl, add in the almond flour, maple syrup ,lemon zest and juice (make sure to take out the seeds from the juice, there’s usually quite a few!), vanilla extract, baking soda and salt.

2.Cut into the mixture the coconut oil, trying to minimize the large chunks. It is okay if there are chunks, they will melt and blend in the oven.

3. Mix in the bluerries and pour into often safe pan.

Cook in the oven on 350* for around 35 minutes. I suggest after about 20 minutes, when the top has started to brown, poke some holes/cut some slices into the top. This allows it to cook more evenly throughout.

This dish can be refrigerated and heated up with no problem for those quick mornings when you have to rush out the door! Enjoy the tangy sweetness!

paleo cake

Paleo Shopping List Week of 2.3.13

Most of the time I don’t fit the classic law school Type A personality.  I am far from a perfectionist, more of a “get-it-done-as-fast-as-possible-so-I- can-go-enjoy-myself”-ist. While stubborn, I’m not too competitive nor do I care about being at the top.

ImageMost days, I wear gym clothes anywhere I am allowed to and don’t bother doing my hair. But when it comes to keeping things organized, that’s where the Type A can be seen. I wasn’t always that way. I had a messy room and an unmade bed just like the rest of them. Then something hit me, and now I’m one of those people who finds cleaning and organizing “relaxing” from the kitchen, to the bathroom to my grocery list.

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yes, I said it. I organize my grocery list. I classify it into the different sections of the store so it’s easier to find thing. Don’t judge me.

It’s lucky for you, really, because I just so happen to have made one for all the Paleo meals I will be making this week, which include:

Blueberry Lemon Breakfast Cake

Buffalo Chicken Wraps with Mashed Cauliflower

Crockpot Balsamic Date Beef Shank with Sauteed Red Cabbage with Apple and Onion

Citrus Scallop Salad with Balsamic Green Bean Reduction

Miscellaneous Snacks.

I’ll post the recipes and pictures as I create them, but in case you want a mindless week of cooking and creating, you may wanna head to the store for the following:

MEAT

1 lb scallops

12 Eggs (Two Dozen if you want Hard Boiled Eggs for a Snack)

½ lb chicken thighs

1lb beef roast

1lb chicken breasts

PRODUCE

1 Orange

3 Avocados

Two Pints Cherry Tomatoes

1 Bushel Green Onions

1 Cauliflower

1 Red Cabbage

Broccoli

1 Lime

3 Lemons

1 Grapefruit

5 Apples of your choice

1 Green Apple

1 Red Onion

1 Yellow Onion

Handful of Cilantro

Dates

Butter Lettuce

Cucumber

Bell Pepper

Green Beans

Sweet Potato

FROZEN

Blueberries

NUTS

Almond Butter (I prefer Justin’s Original or Justin’s Maple Almond)

Pistachios

 

SPICES

Garlic Powder

Onion Powder

Paprika

Rosemary

MISC.

1 15 Ounce Can Tomato Sauce

Balsamic Vinegar

Coconut Oil

Apple Cider Vinegar

Salt

Pepper

Baking Soda

Maple Syrup

Vanilla Extract

Honey

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Burger, with a side of abs.

Sometimes a “classic” just isn’t good enough. While at it’s core it’s still great, it’s just gotten a little dull and outdated, in need of some vamping up.

And that’s where I come in.

While I’m a strong believer that you work your core the best just doing full body weights, I wanted to show my abs some extra love at the end of my workout. Normal sit-ups and planks, while classic,  only do so much and can get old fast, so I switched it up.

(You should be able to youtube all the exercises, or just ask!)

AbDay SwagDay

30 SuitCase Situps with 15lb dumbbell

30 Russian Twists with 15 lb dumbbell

30 Pushouts with 15 lb dumbbell

30 Plank up/downs

15 Hanging leg raises

 

REPEAT 3 TIMES

and then don’t laugh for a whole 24 hours because it will hurt.

 

After that, I was pretty starving and all I could think about was a juicy burger.  And I knew just the one I wanted.

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Jalapeno Burger with Sweet Potato Buns*

BURGER:

1 Jalapeno Pepper

1 tsp paprika

tsp onion powder

Pinch of good salt

1lb ground bison

  1. Mix it all together and grill (or cook stove top with some coconut oil)
  2. Tip: When cooking burgers put a little thumb print in the middle to allow for even cooking

 

BUN:

3 Eggs

2 tsp coconut flour

½ teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teasponn ground ginger

¼ teaspoon good salt

2 cups of shredded sweet potato

Coconut oil for cooking

  1. Shred the sweet potatoes using either a food processor or a hand shredder (extra workout!)
  2. In a medium bowl, mix the eggs, coconut flour, cinnamon, ground ginger, sea salt and sweet potato until everything is covered and mixed.
  3. Heat coconut oil in a pan. Shape sweet potato mixture into  cakes about 5 inches in diameter and fry ‘em up.

Who said a classic is always better?

* Recipe by Diane Sanfillipo

 

Paleo Spicy Orange Chicken

I was going to do a “What I Ate Wednesdays (WIAW) “ to give people ideas on how to stay Paleo all day,  but my food photography skills are still developing and everything looked like a shiny pile of mush, so I’ll save that for next week and practice in the meantime.

Originally I was going to lift this morning, but the weather was so warm (by that I mean over 20 degrees) so I decided to head outside for a run and move my weight training until tonight.

Why yes, I am listening to a book on tape while I run. Nerding out!

Why yes, I am listening to a book on tape while I run. Nerding out!

Since I’m recovering from a cold I didn’t push it too hard, just enjoyed the sunshine and not having to run with a million layers on.

I came back starving and with little time before I had to head to class. Luckily I had been good about meal prep last night, so I was able to pop some spaghetti squash with meatballs in the microwave. While eating I watched a webinar on Sugar Sweetened Beverages and the Ban in NYC (write up coming on Friday), then headed off to class.

Last night, I decided I wanted something spicy and citrusy so I whipped up some Paleo Orange Chicken. I’ve never been a huge fan of Chinese Food, I always found it left me feeling greasy and tired, so that wasn’t too hard to drop when I started eating Paleo. If you are a big fan, or even if you aren’t, I recommend making this recipe.

Total prep time of maybe 5 minutes.

Total prep time of maybe 5 minutes.

It’s incredibly simple to make, only required two pans, but absolutely delicious.

Paleo Spicy Orange Chicken

Paleo Spicy Orange Chick

Paleo Spicy Orange Chicken*

1lb chicken thighs

3 bushels of green onions cut up

2 Tangelos (or oranges or tangerines) (zest one,  juice them both)

2tsp fresh ground/zested ginger

1tsp siracha

1tp Worchestor Sauce (or if you don’t have a soy allergy like me, Gluten Free Soy Sauce)

2 tbs coconut oil

Dash of red pepper (optional)

  1. Cut up raw chicken thighs into bite size pieces
  2. Heat Coconut Oil in a pan and add chicken thighs (if you like spicy things add the red pepper)
  3. Add zest from Tangelo, juice from Tangelo, Ground Ginger, Siracha and Worchester sauce to a separate pan
  4. Put on low simmer, stirring occasionally
  5. Once chicken has cooked add it to the orange sauce
  6. Cook a bit longer for about two minutes
  7. Then pour chicken and sauce onto a mix of the green onions and spinach
  8. Enjoy 🙂

* This recipe adapted from Health Bent to accommodate my soy allergy.

 

Why Paleo?

Disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist. The following post reflects my own experience and knowledge only.

I get it all the time.

“Oh, you eat Paleo? That’s like the caveman thing where you only eat meat right?”

or

“What? Are you trying to loose weight or something?”

or

“Isn’t that just a CrossFit trend?”

I understand the confusion. A year ago I remember making some snarky comment along the lines of  “Why are we trying to go back to what the caveman ate? Haven’t we evolved since then?”

That was because I didn’t understand the concept behind Paleo. The simple idea of eating REAL food.

Modern food has gotten out of hand.

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Let’s take salt for instance. That’s something so simple that you couldn’t possibly mess it up, right?

Wrong.

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In it’s original form, salt has 84 minerals that are essential for the body to function at its highest capacity. Modern processed salt removes 80 of those minerals. Have you ever noticed that most salt is advertised as “iodized salt” even though in its natural state salt already has iodine in it? In the mid 1900’s doctors started noticing higher numbers of goiters and degenerative diseases. They linked these incidents back to the lack of iodine (an essential mineral) in people’s diets due to iodine being removed from salt during the process of creating common table salt.  Salt companies then began adding iodine back in to table salt and advertising it as “new and improved.” You would think it would be easier just to harvest salt naturally, instead of heat blasting it and chemically processing it to remove minerals and then adding a couple back. But, that sort of thinking seems to be common place with food companies now-a-days.

But okay, enough rambling about salt. Where was I? Oh, right. Paleo.

Talking with a friend recently (I’m looking at you, Cam), he commented how sad it is that Paleo is considered a novel idea.  And he was right. Paleo should be the “normal” way of approaching food (with the exception of those who don’t want to eat meat).  Paleo has three main goals

1)   Eat REAL, WHOLE Foods

2)   Avoid processed and refined foods

3)   Eat to maintain proper digestive health.

It’s Simple. Eat the food your body was intended to.

Some of you may be asking: “What does that mean?”

Well, let me tell you.

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What to eat:

MEATS

  • Whatever type your heart desires. This could be: chicken, beef, bison, fish, turkey, pork, clams, lamb, duck etc.
  • Make sure the meat is the highest quality you can get. This means grass fed or organic (they’ll be another post later about the difference between ‘all natural’ ‘organic’ etc labels). Whatever that animal ate, you are now eating.  If it ate hormones, you are getting added hormones.
  • Make sure this meat is not the “99% fat free Purdue ground Turkey” that I used to live off of. One of the hardest concepts to accept when eating the Paleo lifestyle is that HEALTHY fats are your friend.

VEGETABLES

  • Load ‘em up! Asparagus, Beets, Broccoli, Carrots, Chard, Sweet Potato, Cucumbers, Mushrooms, whatever you feel like (with the exception of white potatoes)
  • Be creative with how you cook your veggies and with the seasonings you use. You can steam, boil, bake or grill them. Try seasoning with lemon or rosemary or cinnamon or balsamic vinegar.

HEALTHY FATS  

  • These can come in all shapes and sizes such as: coconut oil, avocados, grass fed butter, bacon fat or duck fat.


NUTS

  • Eat sparingly, but still enjoy now and then.
  • Peanuts are not technically nuts. They are legumes and legumes are a no go. Why? We’ll get to that.


FRUIT

  • Once again, eat sparingly, especially the fruits that are higher in sugars.

WHAT TO AVOID:

Sugars

  • You may have guessed it, but refined sugar is not allowed. In fact, Paleo encourages that you try to have as little sugar as possible. Now, I have a sweet tooth so in order to satisfy that I try to use natural sugars such as maple syrup (organic), agave or honey.

Dairy

  • Milk and yogurt is not a part of the Paleo lifestyle Instead try things like coconut milk or almond milk.
  • Grass fed butter or ghee is okay.

Legumes

  • Legumes are not easily digested by the body and are to be avoided (hello, there’s an anti-gas medicine called BEANO for a reason…)
  • Examples: Peanuts, beans, soy, chickpeas,

 

Now all you science-minded people or critics may be asking WHY? Well, let me tell you.

Why no grains? Why reduced sugar?

All grain products have anti-nutrients that harm digestion and can create inflammation of the gut. One of the main anti-nutrients is called phytates. Phytates bind to minerals we eat and keep them from being absorbed properly by the body.  Other examples are saponin (in quinoa) or lectins (found in most legumes). So by eating grains and refined foods like pasta, white rice or flour, you are actually keeping your body from absorbing nutrients from other foods you eat. A high intake of carbs and sugars promotes dysbiosis, which is a microbial imbalance inside your gut that hinders digestion.

Why no legumes?

 Legumes contain carbohydrates that are difficult for your body to digest, as well as anti-nutrients. Hence the gas. If you just gotta have your beans, make sure to soak them in water overnight first, as it helps your body digest them.  Also note that if you are currently using beans as a protein source, they are mainly carbohydrates (for instance chickpeas are almost 70% carbs and only 20% protein). It’s much better to eat meat for protein instead of substituting beans

What’s going on with dairy?

To be honest, dairy is a highly debated subject in the Paleo community. Most adults are intolerant of lactose to some degree, which is harmful to the digestive process. Also, aspects of milk (like insulin) can also contribute to acne.   Some people do believe that minimally processed dairy (Greek yogurt or whole milk) is beneficial in small portions.  If you choose to eat dairy, make sure it’s not just highly processed low fat milk from cows fed a bad diet. What they eat, you eat.

How much can I eat?

Listen to your body. Eat until you are full. Try to have about a 40/30/30 break down of Protein/Fat/Carbs. But truly, it’s all about what works for you.

Why do I do Paleo?

 I was one of those people who was always tired, always bloated, always hungry and binging,  and would randomly get stomach aches and digestive issues. I tried a bunch of different types of “lifestyles”, from Vegan to Vegetarian to Gluten Free to High Grain/Low Meat trying to solve these issue. The only one that truly made me feel BETTER and not worse has been Paleo. My energy level has increased drastically. My digestive issues and bloating have disappeared. I finally feel full and satisfied, without binging on sweets. Also, with the amount that I work out my body needs the high levels of protein and fat to refuel.

So THOSE are the reasons that I chose to follow a Paleo lifestyle. If you’ve been curious, I suggest you try it out! It can’t hurt. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below and I’ll be sure to get back to you!

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Still want more? Check out the book Practical Paleo by Diane Sanfillipo. Highly recommended.

Paleo Double Chocolate Coconut Almond Cookies

Sometimes on a Saturday night a girl wants a challenge…a mystery to solve.

She wants something dark, with a little bit of sweetness, that’s not too nutty.

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I had already had way too many cookies at this point.

I was feeling in that mood last night, so I decided to head to the kitchen to create some  chocolatey (what? That’s not a word?) goodness. Paleo of course.

It took me a couple tries, but after some feedback from my loyal taste testers I think I finally got it right. I present you with: Paleo Double Chocolate Coconut Almond Cookies. Why Paleo? Well you will just have to check back tomorrow to find out 😉

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Don’t worry, my mom already told me I need better pictures. I’m getting right on it, Mom!

 

Paleo Double Chocolate Coconut Almond Cookies

1 ½  cups Almond Flour

¼ cup Coconut Flour

2 tbs cocoa powder

1 tsp baking soda

pinch of Himalayan pink salt

2 eggs

4 tbs Grass Fed Butter (Melted)

½ cup Organic Maple Syrup

2tsp Vanilla Extract

1/2cp Shredded Coconut Flakes

¼ cup Chocolate Chips (make sure they are 70% Cacao or higher NOT semi-sweet or milk chocolate)

¼ cup Slivered or Sliced Almonds

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix the Almond Flour, Coconut Flour, Cocoa Powder, Baking Soda and Salt in a bowl.
  3. Then add in the eggs, maple syrup, vanilla extract, coconut flakes, chocolate chips and almonds. Stir
  4. Melt the butter in the microwave in a separate bowl for about 15-20 seconds.
  5. Mix the melted butter in with the rest of the ingrediants
  6. Rub a bit of coconut oil on a baking sheet
  7. Spoon out bits of cookie dough, remembering they will expand so don’t put them too close together.
  8. Cook for 20 minutes or until they are the consistency you want.
  9. Enjoy 🙂

Note: These make chewier cookies. If  you want them more fluffy, instead of 1/4 cup coconut flour just do all almond flour.

It will definitely satisfy any dark chocolate cravings you may be having!